402: Save the Day

402: Save the Day

Mar 12, 2010
Stories about one person single-handedly taking charge of a situation gone wrong—including one man's mission to rescue two kids who were kidnapped by alleged murderers and taken to Mexico, and another about a professor's mission to keep the educators of a liberal arts college from extinction.
  • When Luke Davies was 11 years old in Australia, his family moved from the boring suburbs to an incredibly fun place: A tourist park full of attractions, where his dad had gotten a job. There, he was considered kind of a wimpy kid...until he got his chance to save the day. Luke is the author of the novel Candy and the collection of poems Running With Light. (12 minutes)AnimalsChildhoodHealth Care/MedicineHeroism

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  • James Spring had hit his late 30s, and found his life utterly unremarkable. He needed to do something big. So James decided to try to rescue two kids who had been kidnapped by suspected murderers, and taken to Mexico. (29 minutes)

    Correction: In Act One, the victim found in Richard Carelli's van is identified as Carelli's landlord. He was in fact his housemate, not his landlord. We regret the error.

    ChildrenCrimeHeroismPolice

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  • For the last 13 years, the University of Montevallo in Alabama has held an event called The Life Raft Debate, where several professors take the stage and each tries to convince the students that his or her discipline—chemistry, say, or communications—is the most essential field of study. But in 2007, a professor named Jon Smith decided that the debate itself needed saving. Producer Nancy Updike tells the story. (14 minutes)EducationFunny

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